STATEMENT
Forcing social media companies to act as law enforcers without due legal process undermines fundamental principles of democracy
07 Mar 2019
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

Responding to calls from politicians for founder of the far-right English Defense League Tommy Robinson’s videos to be removed from YouTube, Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship said:

“Tommy Robinson is a vile bigot but this level of government intervention on what is and is not acceptable speech should make us all worried. Investigation into whether something is a crime – and prosecution of it – is what we have an independent police force and judiciary for.

“If Robinson has broken the law (threatening/inciting violence, engaging in intimidatory behaviour) he should be investigated and prosecuted accordingly. We have plenty of laws that can deal with this.

“Politicians should not be leaning on anyone to enforce the law – forcing social media companies to act as law enforcers without any due legal process undermines fundamental principles of democracy.”

Greece: Concern over criminal charges against investigative reporters

Seven organisations including Index are closely monitoring the cases of two journalists who reported on a major financial scandal

Belarus: Join the campaign to free our friends Andrei Aliaksandrau and Irina Zlobina

It is now a year since our former colleague and his partner were detained following Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s disputed election victory

Hong Kong arrests series of journalists in large-scale assault on media freedom

Today’s raid on the offices of Hong Kong media outlet StandNews and the arrest of six individuals linked to it is a brutal crackdown on media freedom. Those arrested include current acting Chief Editor Patrick Lam, Deputy Editor Ronson Chan, pro-democracy activist and lawyer Margaret Ng, and activist and pop star Denise Ho. The arrests [...]

Lawsuits against the author and publisher of Putin’s People are SLAPPs

Nineteen organisations condemn the legal actions against Catherine Belton and HarperCollins

One response to “Forcing social media companies to act as law enforcers without due legal process undermines fundamental principles of democracy”

  1. Ivan Vince says:

    Re Jodie Ginsberg’s statement: I concur with the sentiment, but worry that the police are stretched to – and in some cases beyond – breaking point. More fundamentally, most of the messages inciting hate crimes are anonymously posted, often from abroad. Should councils turn to the criminal justice system before painting over murals inciting violence?